Secession War

Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA

[America, 1861-1865] After Lincoln’s election, South Carolina declared secession on December 20, 1860. Until February 1, 1861, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Texas followed. On April 12, 1861, Confederate troops fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston, held by Union troops. The war began.

Can a heart divided beat on? (1861-1865, America)

Lorenz was desperate. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” President Lincoln had quoted from the Gospel of Mark. Could a heart divided beat on? He had never understood let alone accepted slavery, the world of the plantation owners with their hundreds of slaves was alien to him.

But Virginia, the homeland of his wife Annelie, belonged to the South. Her entire family was living there. On the vineyard of her mother Rebecca and her father Heinrich free people were working for fair wages. How could Lorenz take up arms against Virginia? Lorenz’ daughter Amber was born here, in southeastern Pennsylvania, which belonged to the North. How could he take up arms against Pennsylvania? What should they do? With his family he could help relieve the pain a bit. Annelie and he turned the “Merry Dragon” inn into a hospital. Lorenz knew that there were villains who schemed to profit from the war and people’s great need. To stop them was his heartfelt desire, and so he reported to the General Staff. He knew that Harvey and his relatives in Virginia did the same.

Four years of war

Bull Run, Manasses, Antietam, Gettyburg, Vicksburg, Atlanta .. mercilessly the war raged between the North and South, hundreds of thousands were killed. The Union, that is the Northern States, faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America, including the Indian Territory and the southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico.

Four years of intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 soldiers dead. The Confederacy collapsed and 4 million slaves were freed, most of them by Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Annelie and Amber did their utmost to help the wounded that were brought to the “Merry Dragon”. Late at night Annelie fell into bed exhausted, and yet she was glad she could do something, as the worries about her husband and her family in Virginia overwhelmed her.

Bad news (1862, America)

In 1862, there were fights in the Shenandoah Valley, near Heinrich’s and Rebecca’s vineyard. One day in that year, a Union soldier stood in the door. Annelie felt at once that he brought very bad news.

Heinrich Bergmann was dead. During the fighting in the Shenandoah Valley, a bunch of militia fighters who had long since become criminals, had assaulted the vineyard. Heinrich, who wanted to protect his people, had been shot. His wife Rebecca had rushed to him and had been shot down too. Heinrich’s men and neighbors alerted by Niklas had brought help in the nick of time and chased the criminals.

Annelie staggered and the Union soldier could barely save her from falling. “Please accept my deepest sympathy,” he said softly, “I don’t want to urge you, but I will escort you to your uncle, if you wish to and you can leave here. Your husband is already on his way there. Don’t worry, the Southern General in Virginia has promised us safe passage.”

Niklas Bergman was deathly pale and hugged his relatives without a word. “They shot him in cold blood, and Rebecca too, although they were both unarmed,” he said, shaken to the core.

References
The photo is from the German Wikipedia, public domain section.

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